Faith in Christ redeems us from slavery to become children of God.⇦Tweet that!
Today I had lunch with a young man who told me that he didn’t want God to be easy on him. He wanted to prove himself to God. So much so that he had abandoned church because, as he put it, “he didn’t want to be dependent on other Christians.”
I wept inside as I listened to his words. What harm we’ve done to the next generation by teaching them the heresy of works righteousness and sin management. This young man was afraid of grace teaching that may be soft on sin. The truth is that grace isn’t soft on sin, grace is the only deliverance from sin.⇦Tweet that! This young man’s detailed plan for sin management is what will prove to be his undoing. Sooner or later he’s going to have to redefine sin according to his strengths and the little subculture he’s a part of. The rest of his brokenness he’ll need to hide.
That’s the life of a slave, a struggling performer, but that’s not the life Jesus wants us to live.
Do you want to live your life as a slave to sin or as a child of God relating to Him as your Loving Father? The choice is yours—but you must trust in what He says about His children.
When you believed in Christ, He delivered you from your slavery to works-righteousness and you became a child of the Living God.
Everything changed when you trusted in Christ. When the enslaving lies of legalism begin to ensnare you, memorize Galatians 4:7 and repeat it to yourself over and over again: “Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Or Cherished Child?
The Law is like a guardian of privileged children, treating them like immature slaves until they are mature enough to receive their inheritance. But Christ came at the perfect time to redeem God’s people from slavery to the Law through faith in Christ and to put His Spirit in their hearts to confirm that they are His children (4:1-7).
Paul had compared the Law to a prison warden (3:22) and a nanny (3:24). Now he compares the Law to a trustee appointed to care for an immature child. This clearly contrasts the immaturity of Israel under the Law. But it also illustrates everyone’s immature spiritual awareness of sin and the Law or any system of works-righteousness to hopelessly enslave us to failure (1-3).
Note: The “age of majority” for privileged sons in the New Testament world varied. For Jews it was 12, in Greece it was 18, and under Roman law it was between 14 and 17. The Galatians would readily understand this illustration.
Note: “elements of the world” literally means “things placed side by side in a row,” or we might think of it as ABC’s. I believe Paul uses this to describe any system of righteousness based on works—both pagan and the Jewish Law. It could be taken to mean, “what any human being would think of.” Humans naturally think up systems of works-righteousness to please their god/gods. See also v 9, Colossians 2:8, 20.
God sent His Son to usher in a new era of grace—the church age when those who believe in Christ are delivered from their slavery to sin to become children of God (4-5, John 1:12-13).
God also sent His Spirit to indwell His people and encourage us to relate to Him as our dear Father (6-7).
Note: Abba could be translated “Daddy.” It speaks more of intimacy than infancy. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers (Romans 8:9) to facilitate this new relationship with Our Father in heaven. This was a term grown children used to claim their inheritance in the reading of a will.
Galatians 4:1-7 is irrefutable truth that you never need to think of yourself as a struggling performer for God again! Your status has changed. You’re God’s cherished child. I hop you’ll listen to my teaching on the podcast and refer to the free online commentary of on Galatians.
Do you want to live your life as a slave to sin or as a child of God relating to Him as your Loving Father? The choice is yours—but you must trust in what He says about His children.⇦Tweet that!
Question: What is your reason for continuing on as a struggling performer rather than a cherished child of the Living God? How can I help you live into the freedom God wants for you as you pursue your destiny in Him?